Province to release new guideline on scattering cremated remains this spring

By Charles Lefebvre
March 18, 2019 - 1:34pm

EDMONTON, AB — The provincial government has developed new guidelines for the scattering of ashes in Alberta.

According to a news release, the guidelines say cremated ashes may be scattered on unoccupied provincial government-owned crown land or water, including provincial parks.

Care, however, needs to be taken to ensure the ashes are not scattered near water treatment intakes and facilities, or places where recreational water activities occur.

“Our government is committed to ensuring the law supports individuals who wish to express their religious freedom,” said Christina Gray, Minister of Labour, in a news release. “These new guidelines provide clear direction of where ashes may be scattered and support the freedom of Albertans to honour religious expression.”

It has never been against the law to scatter ashes in Alberta, however the new guidelines will provide clarity for families who wish to honour their deceased family members lawfully and respectfully and keep in line with their cultural and spiritual beliefs, according to the release.

The guidelines, which will be released in full later in the spring, follow similar laws in Manitoba and Ontario.

The release states the new guidelines only apply to provincially owned lands and waterways. Families wish to scatter cremated remains on municipal or federal land should consult their local governments.

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